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Macbeth (Modern Library Classics)
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Praise for "William Shakespeare: Complete Works"
"A remarkable edition, one that makes Shakespeare's extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever."
-James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of "A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599"
"Two eminent Shakespeareans . . . have applied modern editing techniques and recent scholarship to correct and update the First Folio. . . . Superb."
"-The New York Times"
"A feast of literary and historical information."
"-The Wall Street Journal"
"I look forward to using it over many years, enjoying Jonathan Bate's perceptive comments, trusting Eric Rasmussen's textual scholarship."
-Peter Holland, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and editor of Shakespeare Survey
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.” Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.
Top customer reviews
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However, I was disappointed that the book lacks any kind of introductory info to Shakespeare or the play. That would have been very valuable.
Also sorely lacking are any helps for the original text, such as explaining what words and phrases in the original meant. The book seems to assume that the modern version is enough explanation - but it's not, if you want to really understand the original language. For example, on the first page Shakespeare's word "collier" is rendered in the modern version as "garbage man." This is not what it means.
Of course this book makes me lament the current state of education and student preparedness. Apparently, most young people these days aren't avid readers. Thus the need for a book like this that treats Shakespeare as a foreign language that needs a full modern translation.
I hope students don't stop at the modern version of the text, but use it as a bridge to really appreciating Shakespeare's original literary version, and see first-hand why Shakespeare is still considered the best writer in the English language.
Although it's been more than 40 years since I graduated with a degree in English and I've retired from a non-literary career in government, I still read Shakespeare on a regular basis. I'm updating my collection with volumes that will fit into my backpack for travel. This edition fits nicely and the binding protects it from being bent better than a paperback.